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president obama and the afghan war strategy. the fight inside the white house. we'll have reaction, next. ooktchuck shakeup at the white house. the president's policy, a male professor is out, is a woman ceo coming in? payback for those bell, california, officials who allegedly took taxpayers for millions and, boy, that town couldn't be happier. and it turns out that the "titanic" might have been able to avoid hitting the iceberg that sunk the ship. good wednesday morning, i'm chris jansing. the president, his internal struggles and public pressure and a covert army in afghanis n afghanistan. if it all sounds like a juicy book, you're right. obama's wars by journalist bob
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woodward tells the story of a president in turmoil foiting not only to get out of afghanistan, but fighting with his own inner circle. the president says, "i have two years with the public on this and, later, i want an exit strategy." but he didn't get it. the book also shows a lot of strong personalities. vice president joe biden calls richard holbrooke the special rep the most egotistical bastard i've ever met. he has written extensively on war strategy. thank you very much for joining us. >> my pleasure, thank you. >> president obama is quoted as saying, this is a direct quote from the book. this needs to be a plan about how we're going to hand off and get out of afghanistan. then he repeatedly, apparently, pushed his top military advisors for an exit plan and they didn't give it it him. does this in a way summarize the dilemma overall.
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the in fighting in afghanistan? >> it does. people seem apparently shock that there's infighting in the white house. and i would be disappointed if there wasn't. this is a badly flawed strategy. it has a number of holes in it. not least of which is it's not properly resourced. if you were really serious about standing up a functioning nation state in afghanistan, which is our professed goal, you can't do it with even 100,000 troops. you need far more troops and to be there for a very, very long time. >> that's exactly what general petraeus said and i'll ask our graphic folks to skip ahead to the quote from general petraeus from this book. he apparently said to the president, "you have to recognize, also, that i don't think you win this war. i think you keep fighting. this is the kind of fight we're in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids' lives at the same time." the president has already said, look, this can't be a war without end. among other things, i'll lose
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the democratic party. he got to be president in part on saying i'll get us out of here. is it a surprise that general david petraeus is the guy that has been moved into afghanistan? >> well, of course, circumstances of how he ended up there will remember the mcchrystal firing and what happened from another juicy story there. >>o, the president didn't have an alternative? >> not in the short term. i generally believe that was the best decision in the short term. but it's true. general putrus better than understand understands the complexity in fighting counterinsurgency. heck, he wrote the book. he wrote the book on counterinsurgency and his own book, the field manual on counterinsurgency says you need hundreds of thousands of troops for a country the size of afghanistan and you need to stay there for a very, very long time and you need a credible, local partner. i think president obama understands that the american people are not willing to support an endless war with hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground. he tried for something less than
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that, but i think from the very beginning, many of us question whether a better approach would have been to change the objectives to focuses very narrowly and tightly on al qaeda, on the folks who killed us in 9/11 who want to do it again. you do not need 100,000 troops on the ground in afghanistan to hunt a couple hundred al qaeda figures. that's an argument that's been made and was made in the course of the president's strategic review. for some reason, he decided to add troops, instead. >> i want to bring in congressman from tennessee, you also, as i understand, herald, on a group within congress that looked at defense department needs, the transformation advisory group. so, you have a white house that is in the middle of this push and pull and i think it's not unique to this white house. you're in the middle of a war and military considerations and political considerations, but it seems as though at least at some point people weren't listening to this president.
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give me a plan, get me out of here and he has to write his own plan. what do you make of that? >> i think the tension and the conversation was a healthy one. as you said, this is not unusual for these kind of conversations to happen with top level and military advisors and national security advisors. i think there is an element and i listen to my friend make the case that maybe the folks and the mission should have been redefined. a smaller force could be used to accomplish the goal of limiting al qaeda's growth and even quelling what they have now. i think there's another fundamental problem the president was clearly delling with. the fact that the will of the american people in so many ways is focused on other objectives. mainly, jobs and the economy. two, these wars have lasted so long. >> and costs so much. >> and costs so much. it seems to be, it's hard to measure our success there. month after month or quarter after quarter you heard president karzai -- >> let me ask that. this is another fascinating statement in this book.
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according to bob woodward. there is u.s. intelligence that harmid karzai is manic-depressive and. this is one of our stated goals when people say, what is the end gim here? one of the stated goals is that we have a stable government there. what do you think about that, harmid karzai. wouldn't surprise people who have seen his mood swings. >> i have not been to afghanistan in almost four years now. in congress i went on almost a dozen trips to the region. he struck me as a rational guy dealing with a set of a rational pulls in so many different directions. he may be those things. all that contributes to within a mood within the country and amongst the american people who have to support this effort that it best leads us to uneven support for this war. ultimately, come 2011, the woodward has it right, we have
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to begin to look for how we withdrawal. it's clear on the general on the ground this is a decade, if not generation's old challenge or a challenge that would require generations of american commitment and we will have to see where we are in 2011. if the job's picture and the economy haven't improved, the president will be left in the toughest political decision that the president had in decades. do you go in election cycle in 2012 and do you begin to redirect of the foreign policy laid out and a different mission with reduced force mission there and perhaps a more achievable set of goals. >> i want to ask you, we're out of time, but i want to ask you both to comment briefly on this simple question which is, is this a smart idea? and there was a great idea about this in politico today because bob woodward was given this access and one of the supposed, the top advisors told them was instead of thinking, i'm talking to bob woodward, i better be
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careful. sources tend to think, i'm talking to bob woodward, i better tell him something good. is this a good idea? was it, obviously, always a calculated risk. was it a risk worth taking to invite bob woodward to talk to top people in the administration in the middle of war planning? >> maybe, maybe not in light of the political considerations and what's happening politically now. but bob woodward has gotten access to the last couple of presidents. the last president as he developed his war strategy and was able to discover, reveal and put a light and illuminate the differences. i think we could have these internal discussions and debates and in a lot of countries you would have those who lost out on the debate defecting from government and maybe attempting a cue. in our country people come together and may say terrible things about one of their partners, allies or war council meetings and then come out as one group saying here's where
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we're going and here's how we're going to do it. it shows the strength of american foreign policy making. >> christopher, we have just a second, your comment on that. >> this is not the first president by inviting bob woodward in you'll get a good story out of it. it doesn't always mean it's good for the white house. >> christopher, herald, thank you, gentlemen. great stuff. a little later today, the president will continue his campaign strategy getting out and talking to americans. he's going to be at a backyard party in virginia focusing on his now 6-month-old health care plan even as americans are planning to overturn parts of it, should they take control of congress? little later he'll head here to new york and to the u.n. to outline his long-awaited policy on foreign aid. he's also got a pretty big decision to make. who will replace the third of his top four economic advisors who's quitting. national economic council chair larry summers will soon be heading back to harvard and after the former budget director
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peter oorzag and christina romer both stepped down, that leaves just treasury secretary tim geithner. will the shakeup of this economic team lead to turmoil or is it an opportunity. i'm joined by john harwood and political writer for "the new york times." so, here we are, john, unemployment at 9.6% and voters look at the polls or go to your town hall and voters deeply unhappy with what's happening. summers was the chief arct tect of the stimulus plan and was this an opportunity for the president or is this turmoil? >> well, i think it's an opportunity for the president, chris, not necessarily to change course because i don't think that's his intention. i think he remain s insinth wit larry summers and it gives him an opportunity to have a new face on his economic team and perhaps to address some of the criticism that he doesn't have people with real world business experience. you could potentially have a
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former ceo come in and do that job. you can also go with an economist which is conventional thing to do or even with the policy person. this is really a blank slate there for the president. and he still has tim geithner in place. >> is tim geithner going to stay? they quote top administration official saying that they think he is going to stay, but, of course, pressure from john boehner to get him out of there. >> that's right. i think the president is going to retain tim geithner. the white house wants to send that message of stability. he has a close, personal relationship with the president and even though christy romer left, so i don't think the fundamentals of policy are likely to change, but the administration likes the opportunity to have a reset, fresh blood, new face on the team and when you're under fire politically, as the president is this fall, that could be useful. >> let me bring herald ford back in here quickly. who should he look at? the former chief of xerox and
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economic council director and laura tyson. female ceo is sort of their wish list. is that a good vote? >> john has touched on it well. great job with your town hall meeting. someone in business answers at least the optics that you haven't had someone pay on payroll of the senior team. i think there's some value in there, too. if you look at the three people, laura tyson has advocated for extending some of the tax cuts. she talked about the need not too much disruption in the middle of a recession. you look at the former head of zer ox. she has some different ideas. >> new poll, 70% of americans, i'm trying to remember was just out today. 70% of americans think tax cuts will help the economy. >> there's a chance, i hear john's point, he's probably right. >> look at our team, 68%. >> you have a chance if someone wants to come in and offer a different set of ideas. i'm a larry summers' fan but if someone wants to come in and
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offer a different set of ideas, you have three bases that are out and new blood to come in and maybe it might signal come new policy. >> herald, always good to have you in. thank you so much, john. >> harwood, your mother was good at the thing, too. >> that was very nice. she's going to like that. >> that was great stuff, thank you. we also have more economic news, developing news on the home prices just coming in. let's get to cnbc's diana olick, what's going on? >> numbers and they are locking at homes sold in july with freddie mac mortgages and prices were down 3.3% in july. we have been seeing price recovery through february, march, april and that was all thanks to the home buyer tax cred. the concern was when you started to see the sales drop off, which we already did, prices are a lagging indicator and they are showing that turn around to the negative. big price drops in the mountain region and they also revised
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june numbers, adding numbers from the end of the month showing that prices started to weaken towards the end of june. once again, the effect of that home buyer tax credit not only pushing down sales, but now beginning to push down home values. chris? >> diana, thank you so much. a rising threat from home-grown radicals is making terrorist plots harder to detect and more likely to succeed. that's what we're expecting to hear from top homeland security officials today including fbi director and homeland security secretary. they are going before that senate committee to discuss security and terror threats. justice correspondent pete williams is live in washington. he's going it be listening in on this and it is interesting, pete, that this comes on the same day as we're getting all these leaks from bob woodward's books and according to "washington post" they explain the president as barraged by warnings and the difficulty of preventing them. so, is that pretty much what we're expecting to hear today? >> same as the previous president. same situation there. yes, they will say that the home
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grown threat is rising, but they'll also say they believe the government is better able to deal with it. they'll talk about some of the recent arrests and for the homeland security department, this is not so much or this is equally, i guess you could say, about the threat as it is about the government's response to it. for homeland security, the big landmark is last christmas. the attempted bombing by mu tallb and what she'll talk about is what she claims are the strides that homeland security have made in improving the airline security system. more advance notice of what passengers are on what planes, which gives the u.s. a longer chance to try to vet those names against terror databases. better airline security in the airlines that feed into the u.s. more cooperation with distant airports and she'll also say one of the problems here is that you can give advance equipment to some of these airports overseas, but if they don't have programs to train the people to operate and maintain them, it's really
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not the kind of security you want. it's a two-edge sword, chris. >> all right, pete, i know you'll listen in and we'll get back to you later today. thanks. >> you bet. i love this quote. a corruption case on steroids. we're talking about those eight bell, california, officials who have been arrested for misusing millions of dollars in taxpayer money. today, they will face a judge and, let me tell you, that town is cheering. [ male announcer ] taste pops... with pringles cracker stix. ♪ crackers turned into tasty, crunchy sticks! ♪ pringles cracker stix. ♪ so delicious... your mouth will be strangely attracted to them. ♪ everything pops with pringles cracker stix.
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corruption on steroids, that's how the l.a. district attorney describes the case of eight city officials from bell, california. they're accused of pocketing $5.5 million of taxpayer money. all eight scheduled to be arraigned later this morning and nbc george lewis has been following all this. george, i mean, you have been around a lot longer in california than i was.
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i don't remember quite seeing a reaction like this to people being arrested. i read in the "l.a. times" this morning that one guy had a bull horn and he was actually playing "another one bites the dust." these folks are mad. >> yeah, it's very vizeral in the city of bell. people were literally jumping for joy yesterday when word of the eight arrests came out. all of this broke in july when it was revealed that the city officials were paying themselves big, fat, six-figure salaries led by the former city manager, the guy in the perk walk, robert ris robertrizzo. he had teotal package of $1.5 million. all this behind closed doors. >> so, george, what happens now? >> what happens now is in about an hour and 15 minutes from now
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all eight will be arraigned in superior court in downtown los angeles charged with a variety of felonies. rizzo faces 53 felony counts for misappropriating city money and the others on a similar variety of counts. the bail for rizzo, the district attorney is asking that that bail for him be set at $3.2 million. and he says that he wants that, he wants to make sure that the source of the money for any bail for any of these officials is verified before they're let out of jail. so, it looks like they're going to face a little bit of time behind bars going into the trial. >> all right, george, thanks so much. a fallen soldier will soon be awarded the military's highest honor, the medal of honor. i'll talk with army staff sergeant robert miller's parents about his sacrifice. brian kurth of portland,
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army staff sergeant robber miller was leading u.s. and afghanistan steams to about three hours of firefight before he, himself, was fatally hit. now on october 6th he will receive the medal of honor posthumously. his parents join us now. first of all, thank you so much for being with us. of course, the thanks and sympathies of a grateful nation. but i'm wondering about that moment when you found out that your son was going to receive this nation's highest military honor. >> when we got the phone call from president obama it was a surprise in a way. we didn't realize he would be the one calling us. we just thought it was someone from the department of defense calling us about some minor bit of information. >> who picked up the phone? maureen, was it you or your husband? >> we both did because we were told ahead of time that the department of defense was going
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to be calling us. >> it turns out to be the president of the united states. >> yes. there was a voice that said, this is the white house and the president would like to speak to you. >> i grabbed the other phone right away. >> i could imagine that you did. >> can you tell us a little bit about that conversation? >> it was very brief. he said that he had to decided to award our son the medal of honor. >> it was a very brief conversation for about a minute. he was at a loss for words, too. he wanted to call to celebrate and congratulate and then after an awkward pause for a second, he had to add posthumously. he was very gracious and a brief phone call and after his phone call other people would follow up and work through the mechanics and that was about it. >> when i read about what your son did and the bravery, you
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know, i mentioned a little bit leading into you, but it's been called raw heroism. he gets hit. he has a gunshot wound and yet he's continuing to fight, he's continuing to allow his fellow soldiers to find cover, saving lives. what even goes through your mind? you, obviously, have the devastation of losing your son, but when you find out what he died, can you put into words, maureen, a mother's pride? >> it certainly helped with dealing with his loss, knowing that he acted so bravely and with clarity of mind, that he knew what he was doing exactly. he was doing this in two different languages. calling out directions in english to his special forces teammates and helping the afghan soldiers organize and stand their ground and return fire and it was just amazing and we were
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very proud when we heard the details of how he acted. >> he had gone to the university of iowa. he had been a college student. but, as i understand it, he had really talked about the military from the time he was very young. >> well, yes, that's correct. a number of people in the family are prior military and he was always interested and very adventurous child and very active child and there was always the interest in being in the military career or military service at some point. so, after one year of school at the university of iowa, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do as far as studies went. this opportunity presented itself and plus the opportunity to go directly into the special forces training program and he jumped at that. >> well, again, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us, october 6th the date when you will be heading to washington, d.c. maureen and philip, thank you, we do appreciate it.
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>> you're welcome. christine o'donnell taking some advice from sarah palin, but could it keep her out of the national spotlight? plus, the votes are in. we'll tell you if bristol palin are back for another week of dancing. ♪ [ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid to fight fatigue. so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever.
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this is a really fascinating day, if you like political strategy, two women, two very different decisions. for first lady, michelle obama, she's getting out there for the first time since her husband's election planning a big campaign swing next month to energize voters for the midterms. then you have christine o'donnell who has been out there since her shocking primary win in delaware. even did a national interview last night, but announced then no more. she's sticking to local media from now on. kelly o'donnell is live in washington, never a dull moment, is there, kelly. >> a season we enjoy around
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here. as you point out, chris, christine o'donnell is trying to maintain the whirlwind around her candidacy a little bit while michelle obama is getting back out into a role we have not seen her in since 2008. the first lady's popularity tapped by democrats and like to see her add her weight, her influence to democrats who are in many places struggling. we're seeing right now that both issues and big personalities are driving the politics. soon adding her voice to mid-term politics. >> thank you. >> reporter: the white house announced tuesday that michelle obama will campaign in six states, where several senate democrats are in trouble. >> i think she will go out and make a forceful and positive case for what this administration has done. >> tuesday senate democrats tried and failed to deliver on two issues ending the don't ask, don't tell policy. >> we've got thousands of
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americans who are patriotic who want to serve who happen to be gay or lez been and we're telling them they can't. >> reporter: democrats also tried to pass a narrow immigration reform, where children brought here illegally, could qualify for green cards by completing education. >> one can only draw the conclusion that this is all about elections. >> reporter: democrats tied both gays in the military and immigration to a big military spending package. republicans called it a ploy. >> and a transparent attempt to show their special interest groups that they haven't forgotten about them ahead of the elections. >> reporter: and voted no. disappointed, democrat al franken choked up with emotion, remembering troops he entertained as a comedian. >> i'll always have this from doing uso tours, but seeing soldier s with arms around each other crying. >> reporter: he used humor to
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protest don't ask, don't tell and said some soldiers confided in him. >> later those came up to me and said, we're gay. >> reporter: the same goes politics makes strange bed fellows. that's al franken back in the '90s, before he was a senator on the same tv show with christine o'donnell, now a delaware tea party senate candidate. od'donnell appeared on fox news tuesday night saying she would talk issues and try to avoid more controversy. >> i'm not going to do any more national media because this is my focus. delaware is my focus. >> reporter: that, she says, is advice given to her by sarah palin. who released a new video tribute to the tea party. and notably palin never used the word republican. >> this party that we call the tea party is the future of politics and i am proud to get to be here today. >> reporter: well, christine o'donnell following that advice may not talk to national
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reporters, but she certainly will have a national outlet because, for example, a debate coming up in october against chris coons the democratic candidate that will be moderated by cnn's wolf blitzer. she has also agreed to participate in other debates. part of what she was referring to was not being on the sunday shows, which we certainly know are a venue for candidates to really try it be taken seriously in washington and have a chance to be really pressed on their issues. we'll have to see how it all plays out. chris? >> kelly, thank you. what do we make of these political strategies? karen finny is msnbc contributor and pat buchanan, a republican strategist and analyst. sarah palin says to christine o'donnell, some people would argue that strategy has helped rand paul, is sarah palin right? >> she sure is. christine o'donnell did an outstanding job the day after the election, i think she has been on seven national shows,
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all of them except "morning joe." >> which he said repeatedly. >> which we've mentioned on the air. but i think, look, she has all the national attention and she's nationally known. i agree with her, you don't want to go on the national shows and say does witchcraft practice -- >> does it make it look like she's scared to answer a tough question from david gregory? >> no, no, no, no. look, you don't want to go on a national show and answer whether you practice witchcraft at a slumber party in junior high. for heaven sakes. the press is in a wild moment right now, get away from those folks, get on there and get on the issues. >> we're the bad guys, again, karen finny. is she smart, politically, politically is this a smart move for her, karen? would you tell her to do the same thing? >> you know, probably i would. i can tell you that i think the nrsc, i teased them, i think they have baby-sitters as a brand-new class of political
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consultants who have gone out to baby-sit all these tea party candidates. remember with sharron angle she was everywhere and then no where. there is another point, though, when you're a candidate whether you're a democrat or republican that's important, that is, you have to be a little careful not to get so much nationled media attention that the voters in your state start to think you're running for the national media attention. i think her messaging is really smart trying to say, i will focus on the people of delaware. that doesn't mean some of the whacky things will come out, if there's more witchcraft in there, i'm sure she will have to answer for it. it's a smart strategy. >> let me ask both of you about mrs. obama. valerie jarrett was quoted as saying she is coming as a concerned citizen and as a mom who wants the best for her daughters. from that vantage point, she has the opportunity to really speak from the heart. is she, pat, the democrat's secret weapon, potentially, as
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they go into close races for the fall? >> let me use a baseball analogy. the pitcher has been shelved for eight innings and now they have gone to the bull pen. >> wow. >> barack obama there are areas, quite frankly, that barack obama can't go because these he's too controversial and he doesn't help. >> her approval rating is 62%. >> well, she has a higher approval rating and she's noncontroversial and goes out there and raises money, gets a good image and gets media. but barack obama coming in is extremely controversial and, quite frankly, in a number of areas he doesn't help. when they're using the first lady, quite frankly, that does not like to campaign, it does suggest desperation in the democratic party. >> well, karen, if you accept pat's analogy you might say at least they have a bull pen to go to. >> we're doing fine. i disagree with pat suggesting that mrs. obama doesn't like to campaign. i think she does like to
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campaign and get out there and talk about issues, but, remember, she has two young children at home. to some degree, she has to balance those responsibilities as most american working women do with being out there and supporting candidates. i think she's a great voice and, obviously, a great asset on the campaign trail. obvio obviously, the president, if you look at the zogby numbers. the president's approval ratings are coming back up and so is michelle obama. it's a smart strategy. when you're down to, if it's the bottom of the ninth, you have to put all your best players out there. so, i'm glad we have her and i'm glad she's going to be out there. >> karen, you have to pull some of them off the field, too. >> yeah. >> so, back to christine o'donnell, i guess. >> right. >> well, isn't this interesting. >> no doubt, christine's in big trouble up there in delaware, but look closely. >> the poll numbers for her aren't good right now. >> can i just say as a cleveland
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indians fan every baseball analogy hurts. pat buchanan and karen finny, thanks to both of you. great conversation. more backlash today from the republican party against the alaska senator, lisa murkowski. she is refusing to go quietly after she lost her primary, saying the people of her state still want her. >> but what happened after that primary was absolutely unauthorizing from the people of the state of alaska saying, lisa, you cannot, you cannot end this. please stay in this fight. >> nbc's lee cowan is in anchorage following all the political drama there. you sat down with her, didn't you, lee? >> yeah, she's still defending this decision, chris, even though it upset a lot of republicans who wished instead she would go back and back the republican joe miller who won the primary here. she knows this is still a real long shot.
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there are those who think it may work. she has a lot of money and name recognition and she told chuck todd the reason she's doing it is because the voters here didn't have a choice. >> 85% of the people, the electorate did not participate in selecting the two nominees going forward. democrat scott mcadams, nice, nice guy, but really unelectable. joe miller represents some views that here in alaska most people feel are outside in that main stream. >> now, joe miller, her opponent was backed by the tea party and got endorsed by sarah palin. murkowski says those are extreme views that she didn't fight back hard on in the primary and now she wants another chance to do it. >> thanks, lee. sarah palin's daughter, bristol, lives to dance another day. the verdict is in on "dancing with the stars" and bristol will
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be back. now the countdown is on for when mama grizzly might show up on the popular tv show. no word on levi, by the way. what is up with those voters of baywatch nation failing to keep the hoff on his toes. >> the couple with the lowest overall combined total and therefore leaving right now is -- david and kym. >> oh, but david hassle off was very graces in defeat. he always gets to go back to the beach. that's not so bad. the nation failed to repeal don't ask, don't tell. president obama weighs in going
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a new study finds that a combination of excessive drinking, weight gain and smoking may contribute to cognitive problems after observing 54 men who had been heavy drinkers. they found a high bmi was related to problems with thinking and memory. >> and you didn't get a single republican who was willing to just let this piece of legislation on the floor and that's part of what this election is about. well, when senate republicans yesterday blocked don't ask, don't tell, a democratic-led measure to help the children of undocumented immigrants was shot down, too. the dream act would give permanent residency to anyone brought to the u.s. illegally as a child, as long as they've completed some college or joined the u.s. armed forces. jo jose diaz spoke one-on-one with
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the president just hours after that vote. i'm fascinated to hear what he told you, jose. >> he was very saddened that the dream act could not be on an up or down vote and he says that the kids that would be helped by the dream act are the best part of american society. >> you've got young people in this country who, for all intents and purposes are americans. they're american kids. they have grown up here, they have gone to school here. oftentimes if they're not legal citizens, it's through no fault of their own. they want to contribute, some of them want to serve in our military. >> chris, this is deeply disappointing to many in the community for many looking at the dream act of some kind of immigration reform and clearly nothing will happen before november elections. >> key places where they it could impact the election in november? >> nevada, california, texas and arizona.
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>> arizona, of course. thank you so much, jose. good to see you. >> you, too. did the "titanic" mistake cause the "titanic" to sink? ♪ [ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid to fight fatigue. so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever. but basically, i'm a runner.
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so, how about this. a sailor's error. that's a new report about the "titanic" puts the blame for the collision with the notorious iceberg. the helmsman turned the ship the wrong way to avoid hitting the iceberg. by the time he figured out it was wrong, it was too late. jim maceda joins us live from london. could it really be that simple? somebody made a dumb mistake on a new ship? >> it sounds too unbelievable to be true, chris. apparently, that is the key secret that has been kept in the family, patton's family all these years.
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according to her, the author, her grandfather was the only surviving officer on the "titanic "could have avoided the iceberg but when given the order to steer away, the steersmen or helmsmen actually turn under to the threat, into the iceberg. pilots at that time in 1912, i learned today, are still sailing ships and the steering orders are different and you turn in the opposite direction of which you want to go and people who sail today know that for a fact. pilots in the north atlantic in 1912 were apparently still using those old orders, even though the "titanic" was a cutting edge steam ship, steering like a car. you want to turn left, you go left. under extreme pressure it appears these claims are true. this pilot reverted to his old training, turning the opposite direction and, in this case, turning the wrong way. incredible, but it might be
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true. >> here's the crazy thing, jim. few accidents in the history of the world have been more microanalyzed than the sinking of the "titanic." was this some successful cover up? >> i think that's what it looks like, at least according to the granddaughter who is a famous author here in great britain. it was a cover up on the part of her grandfather. never ever revealing in the two major inquiries anything because the grandfather, it turns out, warned was warned that if the truth ever got out the "titanic's" white star line would have gone under, as well, financially. apparently he lied all those years to the ifquiries, not to his families rather than risk thousands of company jobs. >> fascinating stuff. >> back to you. >> thanks, jim. in the meantime, scientists have put science into the parting of the red sea and they think there might be a physical
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explanation for moez's miracle. might not have been like the classic movie, "the ten commandments." the new study indicates that strong persistent winds could have been a major factor in the sea's movement. they did these computer simulations re-creating 3,000-year-old acts and found that 63-mile-per-hour winds blowing for 12 hours could have actually pushed the water to bend. scientists base their study on shifting depths over waterways over time. >> you're sticking with the bible? >> that and a guy called moses happened to be there with his hands open like this. >> if he looked like charleston heldstone, who is going to believe him. >> mr. richard lui, how are you? >> here for tamron hall on this wednesday. a lot coming up in the next hour, in fact, we'll see a lot for you. we'll talk about a new book that has infighting on some key players.
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plus, eight officials from the city of bell, california, oh, my word. evidently what we're hearing right now, they're being arraigned on corruption charges within the hour and we are talking about the million dollars they're earning. a woman evicted in an outrageous story from her own home. she is outside right now and has no where to go. we'll have that unfortunate story straight ahead. pantene flat to volume is a customized pro-v system that, in test, outlasts the flop to make volume that lasts long past 4 o'clock. pantene. healthy makes it happen. the pantene re-invention is here. introducing the new pantene custom solutions. with options for your unique hair structure. fine, thick, curly or color. to make the hair you love last and last. put it to the test. find your new pantene.
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but the financial landscape is still full of uncertainty. in times like these, you need an experienced partner to look out for you. heads up!
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and after 300 years we have gotten pretty good at that. words alone aren't enough. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. and our efforts aren't coming at tax-payer expense. i know people are wondering-- now that the well is capped, is bp gonna meet its commitments?
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i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right. i'm richard lui, tamron hall is on assignment on this wednesday. right now on msnbc for you, a house divided. a new book about the obama white house that exposes deep policy conflicts between obama's top layers. we have that. then in a year times square bomb plots and underwear bomber and word that the united states has yet become more complex. they're accused of stealing millions from their own town. today, they are

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MSNBC News Live
MSNBC September 22, 2010 10:00am-11:00am EDT

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